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February 6, 2023
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Wonderful Wine Walk (Photo Gallery)

1,200 People Grabbed a Glass and Strolled the Streets

It was a splendid summer-like afternoon along Los Gatos’ main corridor, Saturday, as hundreds of people poked their heads into cute shops, dabbed bits of bread in artisanal truffle oil and sampled wines from 33 purveyors from around the Bay Area—and beyond.

And at the end of the 2022 Spring Wine Walk, Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Catherine Somers was as elated as she was exhausted.

“There were 1,200 people—the biggest Wine Walk we have ever had!” she exclaimed, as volunteers tidied up at the organization’s headquarters. “It was just so fun seeing all these smiling faces.”

The ballooning numbers were anything but a foregone conclusion.

After all, just days earlier the Chamber staff nervously eyed sluggish ticket sale figures.

‘This is something that everyone can feel comfortable attending’

—Denise Ramon Herrera

With 535 people having reserved a glass as of Wednesday, it was clear potential participants were keeping an eye on weather forecasts.

But as the weekend approached, it became apparent clear skies were on tap.

“In the last three days we sold 700,” Somers said. “Day-of, we sold 200 tickets.”

One of the biggest achievements, she continued, was the diversity of attendees.

“People came from all over,” she said. “They heard that Los Gatos is lively and has a new post-Covid vibe.”

For volunteer Denise Ramon Herrera, it was rewarding to see the masterful execution of an event that’s welcoming of both people who rock the no-mask look, and those who still want—or need—facial protection from the coronavirus.

“We’re inclusive,” she said. “Coming out of Covid, this is something that everyone can feel comfortable attending, because it’s an outside event.”

She said it was an amazing opportunity to contribute to the community she’s called home for decades.

“I’m retired after working in education for 35-and-a-half years,” she said. “I feel strongly about giving back to the community where I worked.”

Somers noted that even wineries from Livermore and Napa showed off their wares during the event, which went from 1-4pm.

“The merchants said it was the best day they had in three years,” she said. “It was such a happy, unexpectedly-huge crowd. But everybody was so well-behaved.”

Drew Penner
Drew Penner is an award-winning Canadian journalist whose reporting has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Good Times Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, Scotts Valley Press Banner, San Diego Union-Tribune, KCRW and the Vancouver Sun. Please send your Los Gatos and Santa Cruz County news tips to [email protected]

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